When: 16th – 20th January & 10th February 2019
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event
What is it?
The 15th annual edition of Slapstick, the UK’s biggest festival of silent and classic screen comedy, will take place from Wednesday 16th to Sunday 20th January in Bristol. Slapstick 2019 will have more than 30 events taking place at venues across the city centre.
One of last century’s most popular TV double acts – Little and Large – will be back on stage together for the first time in decades as part of this year’s festival.
At the peak of its 13 year run in the 1970s and 1980s, BBC1’s Little and Large sketch show, starring Syd Little and Eddie Large, commanded audiences of up to 15 million a week but the partnership ended when Eddie (real name Eddie McGinnis) developed a life-threatening heart condition.
On Friday 18th January, however, the duo will reunite at the Bristol Old Vic for An Audience With Little and Large: A Larger Than Life Story.
Other highlights include stand-up, journalist and podcaster Richard Herring curating a strand which will find him quizzing Tim Vine about his comedy favourites, rummaging with The Goodies through the new DVD box set of the trio’s TV episodes, and looking back at The Inbetweeners with its writers Damon Beesley and Iain Thomas, and actor Joe Thomas (Simon).
There will also be a screening of the Harold Lloyd classic For Heaven’s Sake, with live music, at Bristol Cathedral. The event is a follow-up to a debate involving stand-ups Robin Ince and Lucy Porter on whether making a joke justifies the mocking of a religion.
Drop The Dead Donkey and Miranda actor Sally Phillips will introduce some overlooked female stars of the silent comedy era, including Alice Howell, Louise Brooks, Mary Pickford and the mystery British star of a series of French films.
There will be family-friendly stand-up from the welly-wearing 1980s comedy icon Jimmy (And there’s more…) Cricket, plus a chance to go behind-the-scenes of Dad’s Army with the show’s Vicar, actor Frank Williams, and his hitherto largely unscreened home movie footage.
This year, there will be more events than ever for younger audiences, including Meet Charlie! with Chaplin’s biographer David Robinson; a tour of early comedy animations with Aardman’s Merlin Crossingham; and children’s TV star Andy Day, mixing his trademark foolery and rapping with screenings of his favourite silent cinema funnies.
The 2019 festival will conclude with a silent comedy gala, hosted by Marcus Brigstocke, and a special children’s show on Sunday 10th February.
More info: www.slapstick.org.uk